After falling behind 2-0, College of Coastal Georgia volleyball rallied to win three straight sets, beating Georgetown College (Ky.) and staving off elimination from the NAIA National Championship in Sioux City, Iowa.
The 3-2 (16-25, 22-25, 31-29, 25-20, 15-12) win is the first final site win at the national tournament for the Coastal Georgia volleyball program.
“It was really crazy,” head coach Leah Mihm said. “We’re on a big high. … In the third set we were more focused. We knew today’s match was a good possibility for a win and we finally woke up.”
Georgetown cruised to a win in the first set after separating itself from Coastal with an 8-4 lead.
In the second set, Coastal Georgia was jockeying for a lead early on, but was unable to separate itself. Coastal led 6-4, 11-7 and 13-11 in the second set. Georgetown took the lead 15-14, and was able to fend off Coastal, which mounted a comeback and held a 19-18 lead.
Heading out of a timeout, Georgetown ended the set on a 7-3 run to hold a commanding 2-0 lead at halftime.
Coastal opened the third set on a 5-2 run and Mihm said the key to winning the battle that lasted for 60 points was the Marniers’ ability to break the Georgetown serves.
“We were able to side out better and we just had to get the one extra point,” Mihim said.
Tied 23-23, Coastal and Georgetown alternated points until Cayley Meiners set up Kayla Gadberry for a kill to take a 30-29 lead and an attack error from Georgetown sealed the set and kept Coastal Georgia’s tournament hopes alive.
Coastal closed out the match, out-attacking Georgetown in the final two sets. The Mariners held attacking advantages of 29 percent to 16 percent in the fourth set and 38 to 33 in the tiebreaker.
Rachel Amundson had a team-high 16 kills for Coastal Georgia and Gadberry backed up that total with 15 kills. Kyra White was also an efficient hitter with 13 kills. Meiners had 55 assists in the match and Alyssa Keeve led the team with 24 digs.
“Amundson played a great match with some key kills for us,” Mihm said. “We really focused on good serve receiving.”
Coastal (30-9) looks toward Montana Tech at 2 p.m. today, with the winner advancing out of pool play in the tournament. The Coastal Georgia athletic department will show the live video stream of the match on the NAIA Network in Room 219 in the Coffin Building.
“We have a very good chance of beating Montana Tech,” Mihm said. “Nothing is going to hit the floor you just have to out-rally that team.”